Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Classes Will Start on January 10th, So Far No County is Going Online

January 4, 2022 - Classes will start on January 10, and the Ministry has so far not received a notification from any county about the transition to the C model, or online classes, after the holidays.

The Ministry of Science and Education does not intend to change the decision at the beginning and end of the school year, so classes will start on January 10 after the winter holidays in all schools, and so far no county has announced the transition to online classes, reports Večernji List.

"The ministry does not intend to change the decision on the beginning and end of the school year, the number of working days and the duration of vacations of primary and secondary school students for the school year 2021/2022," the Ministry of Science and Education said on Tuesday.

Croatia has registered 5,845 new coronavirus cases and 46 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Tuesday.

The number of active cases in the country currently stands at 28,889. Among them are 1,817 infected persons receiving hospital treatment, including 233 who are on ventilators, and 16,715 persons who are self-isolating.

To date, 4,745,870 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, with 55.71 percent of the total population, or 66.37 percent of the adult population, having been vaccinated. A total of 2,260,882 people have received at least one dose and 2,146,134 of them have been fully vaccinated, which is 63.16 percent of the adult population.

Despite the current epidemiological situation, the Ministry of Science and Education does not contemplate a return to virtual classes, although the development of face-to-face classes will be closely monitored in the coming weeks to avoid more cases.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Thursday, 4 November 2021

Zagreb Schools To Go Back to Face-to-Face Classes As Of 8 November

ZAGREB, 4 Nov 2021 - As of Monday, November 8, primary and secondary schools in Zagreb will go back to face-to-face classes, the city's education office said on Thursday. 

In case the epidemiological situation in a school worsens, the city office will, in cooperation with the "Andrija Štampar" Teaching Institute for Public Health, consider switching to online classes.

The city office for education said this decision was made in line with a conclusion of the city's COVID-19 response team of November 4.

This week, after All Saints' Day, schools have been holding online classes.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

MPs Talk Online Classes, Euro Referendum, Serb Rights in Vukovar

ZAGREB, 27 Oct 2021 - Social Democratic Party MP Sabina Glasovac said on Wednesday the measures against the spread of COVID-19 were inconsistent and illogical, calling out Prime Minister Andrej Plenković for deciding to close schools without explanation.

"We still don't know on what basis the measures are being adopted. Is it based on the number of new infections or those hospitalised? Or those who end up on ventilators? Or based on the number of deaths?" Glasovac said in parliament.

Euro referendum

Hrvoje Zekanović of the Croatian Sovereignists called on MPs to sign today a petition for a referendum on the introduction of the euro.

"It's time we say that we stand by the people, that we are not politicians but activists," he said, adding that the will of the people was more important than protecting the national currency and that "the people must decide on key matters."

Jeckov: Fight against Serbs is the basis of politics in Vukovar

Dragana Jeckov of the Independent Democratic Serb Party criticized a conclusion of the Vukovar City Council on the need to expand the rights of ethnic Serbs.

She said that every year the conclusion stated that the degree of tolerance between Croats and Serbs "has not progressed and that conditions have not been created for expanding the rights."

"This year, that justification sounds bad, which is that we must wait for the data of the population census to see exactly how many Serbs live in Vukovar," Jeckov added.

As long as the current city administration remains in power, the conditions to expand Serbs' rights will not be met because collective guilt is ascribed also to those born in 1997, 2007, and 2017, she said.

"The fight against Serbs and presenting Serbs as scapegoats are the basis of politics in Vukovar," Jeckov said, adding that Serbs only wanted what they were entitled to under the law and the constitution.

She said the city leaders continue to stigmatize Serbs. "They make the treatment of Serbs a measure of their own patriotism in order to be recognized as the only true patriots because they are always and strictly against anything Serb. Serbs are a threat to all in Vukovar, except during local elections when good and suitable Serbs are put on slates and then those same Serbs vote that there are no conditions to expand Serb rights in Vukovar."

Jeckov said it was not only about Cyrillic signs on public buildings but also proportionate representation and the rights to education and housing. "I am much more worried that the climate was better in 1997," she added.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Petrinja Secondary School Starts Online Classes

ZAGREB, 18 January, 2021 - Petrinja Secondary School started online classes for all programmes on Monday despite the possibility of delaying the beginning of the second school term for a week.

School administration has temporarily been moved from the damaged building, built in 1871, to a private house.

Lessons started at 8 a.m. for all 22 classes, attended by 291 out of 294 students and taught by 42 of the 51 employed teachers, head teacher Milan Orlić told Hina.

Everyone is at home, and the management and administration are here and we offer nearly all services here, Orlić said.

Asked about the health condition of the teachers and students, Orlić said it was satisfactory. The COVID situation is good, and people are under pressure because of the earthquake, he said, adding that two teachers are on five-day leave approved by the government and they have  substitutes.

Around 2 p.m. we will have precise data on the number of students who were in class today, Orlić said.

For now, all lessons are being held online, and a solution is being sought in consultation with the Sisak-Moslavina County administration for students who need practical lessons.

All school equipment was taken from the damaged building and stored elsewhere, and the management's plan is to repair a building near the Gavrilović factory which meets structural criteria. The reconstruction of that building could start in a month and its completion is planned for May.

Everyone wants to help, our former students and others, for which we thank them, said Orlić.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Zagreb Secondary Scools to Switch to Online Classes as of Dec 14

ZAGREB, Dec 7, 2020 - Secondary schools in Zagreb will switch to online classes as of Monday, December 14, the head of the city department for education, Ivica Lovric, confirmed on Monday.

Partial results of a preliminary testing of students and teachers in 19 Zagreb schools were presented at a regular press conference of the City of Zagreb's civil protection team.

Slightly more than 2,000 Zagreb secondary school students were tested, and preliminary results show the presence of asymptomatic infection in 1% of primary school and 2.23% of secondary school students. As for school workers, 365 were tested, and 3.29% have an asymptomatic infection.

"This confirms that students are not mass carriers of COVID and that the virus is not spreading in classes and schools," Lovric said. "In 75% of Zagreb classes with COVID, only one student is positive, and in others two. We have concluded that it would be good to introduce Model C for all secondary school students as of December 14," he added.

Model C refers to distance learning.

"This will indicate how much that measure will contribute to curbing the spread of COVID," he said, noting that it would surely contribute to reducing crowds in public transport.

Monday, 16 November 2020

Minister Says No Switching to Online Classes

ZAGREB, November 16, 2020 - Education Minister Radovan Fuchs has said that his ministry is still of the view that one should not switch to online classes except in cases when the situation in a school requires it and when physical classes are not possible.

"The ministry has been monitoring the system of primary and secondary schools and still considers that one should not switch to online classes except when the situation in an individual school requires it," the minister said, adding that online classes so far had been introduced in schools where the teaching and auxiliary staff had been reduced to such an extent that it had brought the holding of physical classes into question.

"We have been monitoring the situation closely and will act accordingly but one should not resort to any panicky decisions because that is the worst scenario," he said.

He noted that no country had closed schools without applying stricter general measures and that there were cases where very stringent restrictions were in force but where schools functioned normally.

1,366 students, 549 school staff positive for coronavirus

The minister said that the latest data showed that 1,366 students and 549 school staff were positive for coronavirus, which was 81 fewer students than on Sunday, when a slight decrease was recorded also in relation to Saturday, and that the latest data also showed that 34 fewer teachers were positive for the virus.

"If the current trend stays, it will be good. We can't speak of an abrupt decline, but we can say that the curve is relatively flat," he said.

Monday, 9 November 2020

Universities Can Switch to Online Lectures Within 24 Hours, Says Minister

ZAGREB, November 9, 2020 - Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Monday that the epidemiological situation in the education system was relatively good and that universities could switch to online lectures within 24 hours.

The situation at Croatian universities is relatively good today, however, in case of any request to switch to online, I can say with full responsibility that all universities and its components are prepared to go online within 24 hours, Minister Fuchs said.

Sending a larger number of students home could additionally increase the spread of the virus

It is necessary, however, to estimate whether switching to online lectures will bring the desired results, primarily, to reduce the pressure on the health system as sending a larger number of students to their homes because as many as 20,000 students studying in Zagreb come from outside Zagreb, could increase the spread of the virus.

The situation is not dramatic for now but if a well-reasoned decision is made that will indicate that that could be effective, we can recommend it (online teaching) to universities in a very short time, he said.

The minister said that some universities have already introduced hybrid approaches to lectures with professors in lecture rooms while students are attend lectures online.

He admitted that it is complicated to transfer some study programmes to online lectures such as at medical schools, schools of dental medicine, faculties of veterinary medicine and so on.

Fuchs presented some data on the coronavirus incidence among undergraduates and university staff and professors.

For instance, the University of Zagreb has registered 235 positive students, which is 0.3% of the total number of its students, and  there are currently 90 employees diagnosed with this infectious disease, or 1.2%.

The University of Osijek, for example, has 67 students diagnosed with the disease, that is 0.43% of its student population and 14 employees (0.05%).

The University of Pula has five positive employees and has no data on students as they are attending online lessons.

The situation at schools is a little more stable and we can see that the number of children infected with the virus is falling. On 28 October, there were 1,440 pupils infected with coronavirus in the whole of Croatia, while today that number is 1,119, said Fuchs.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Education Minister: School Closures and Online Classes Are Last Resort

ZAGREB, October 29, 2020 - Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Thursday that closure of schools and online classes would be the government's last resort and that he was not considering that measure for now.

He cited the study conducted in 133 countries, according to which school contributed very little to the transmission of the infection.

There are 0.2% children who tested positive for coronavirus in the education system. Yesterday 27 children from kindergartens tested positive in Zagreb and over 70 kindergarten teachers, so kindergartens mostly closed down because of staff, he said.

Fuchs said that they were currently considering new guidelines, especially regarding staff wearing masks and improving transport transmission control, which could reflect better on the number of infections than switching to online classes.

We have a relatively good epidemiological situation and let us not close schools, Fuchs said.